2024 Green Bond

$53M 2020 Green Bond, Question 3

The health of our lands, waters, and communities is central to our environment and supports our way of life in Rhode Island. The value of Rhode Island’s network of green spaces, outdoor recreational areas, and waterways goes beyond beautiful places and recreational opportunities for public enjoyment. This network is important to the state’s economy and ability to attract people and businesses. 

Quonset's Port of Davisville 

$15 MILLION for continued growth and modernization of Rhode Island’s only public port. This investment in the World War II-era infrastructure will finance new berthing space, port access roads, cargo laydown area improvements, and security upgrades for the new Terminal Five Pier which accommodates existing import cargo and offshore wind projects.

Municipal Resilience Program 

$10 MILLION administered by RI Infrastructure Bank (RIIB) to help local communities restore and the improve resilience of vulnerable coastal habitats, river and stream floodplains, and infrastructure. This investment will fund matching grants up to 75% to directly support Rhode Island’s cities and towns to identify top hazards, improve community resiliency, and strengthen public safety in the face of increased flooding and more frequent and intense storm events driven by climate change. The Municipal Resilience Program has provided 48 action grants across 26 participating communities to date with 38 muncipalities currently participating in the program. This funding will unlock additional resources for those communities and allow all 39 Rhode Island municipalities to participate in the program over the next two years. 

Forest and Habitat Restoration 

$5 MILLION for forest health management, wildlife habitat, and related infrastructure at state management areas Projects may include removal of dead and/or dying trees; tree planting; invasive species removal, and other forest health and wildlife habitat activities; and the repair and maintenance of fire roads, trails, and bridges to improve and maintain recreational public access and mitigate the risk of wildfire. Rhode Island’s forests and trees may seem like a green backdrop to our landscape, but they are hard at work generating a wide range of services and values. They are a place where humans and native wildlife can live and thrive by providing habitats for animals and livelihoods for humans. They also offer watershed protection, prevent soil erosion, purify our air, clean our water, and mitigate climate change. 


$5 MILLION in matching grants to clean up former industrial sites or “brownfields” so they may revitalize our neighborhoods, be returned to tax rolls, and create jobs. Over the past five years, the State has awarded funds to 77 different projects in 17 different cities and towns across Rhode Island through the Brownfields Remediation and Economic Development Fund and often incorporate resiliency and promote environmental justice and equity. To date, these projects have leveraged nearly $1.4 billion in private funds and cleaned up close to 344 acres of contaminated land on formerly vacant land, transforming them into new schools, businesses, affordable housing, and recreational spaces throughout the state.

Local Recreation 

$5 MILLION in matching grants to create new and improve existing community parks, playgrounds, athletic fields, and other recreation facilities. Studies show access to green space improves health, promotes stronger social ties, and enhances neighborhood satisfaction and pride. There have been over 568 grant-funded projects totaling more than $91 million invested in improvements in all 39 Rhode Island communities since the inception of DEM’s Community Recreation Grant program in 1988. According to the Outdoor Industry Association, outdoor recreation in Rhode Island generates $2.4 billion in consumer spending and supports 24,000 local jobs.

Farmland Preservation 

$5 MILLION to protect Rhode Island’s working farms through the Agricultural Lands Preservation Commission. Rhode Island has a thriving network of farmers and leads the nation in food-system planning and innovation – spurred on by a growing demand for fresh, locally grown food among consumers. This program will protect farmland, enabling farmers to stay in business and keep land productive – which supports our local food system and provides jobs.

Open Space

$3 MILLION investment to protect open space, farmland, watershed, and recreation lands by fee simple interest or conservation easements through the State Land Acquisition Program. The funds will be used to enhance communities by providing opportunities for Rhode Islanders and visitors access to local agricultural products and areas for hiking, fishing, and hunting. Funds are matched by federal, local, and non-profit sources with every state dollar being matched by three other dollars. Protecting open space preserves our natural environment, enhances recreational opportunities, and is a key to building a vibrant economy and quality of place.

Newport Cliff Walk

$3 MILLION to restore pedestrian access along the iconic Newport Cliff Walk. Open daily to the public without charge from sunrise to sunset a key section of the paved trail collapsed from coastal erosion exacerbated by severe weather incidents. According to a 2018 study by Salve Regina University students, the Cliff Walk annually attracts an estimated 1.3 million visitors and adds $200 million in economic impact for Rhode Island.

Coastal Resilience 

$2 MILLION for matching grants to public and non-profit entities to restore and/or improve the climate resilience of vulnerable coastal habitats and to restore river and stream floodplains. Projects would improve community resiliency and public safety in the face of increased flooding, major storm events, and environmental degradation.